I sat next to my buddy, the fabulous New York City-based film critic Joanna Langfield, at a screening of this movie in Manhattan. Joanna and I were entertained. We laughed. We enjoyed it. I wish this coming-of-age female bonding comedy had done better than it did at the box office. Funny, sweet, kooky, charming -- those are qualities of Whip It, the 2009 movie directed by actress Drew Barrymore. She's now seen co-hosting "The Essentials" Saturdays at 8p ET with Robert Osborne on cable's Turner Classic Movies.
In Whip It, Drew played a roller derby queen whose rink name is "Smashley Simpson."
Drew Barrymore's bigger role was behind the camera as the film's director.
Starting when I was a high school freshman, my mother would say "I want you to have power. I see you becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. That's it. Screenwriting is what you're meant to do." I begged....begged her...to watch William Holden in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard so she could get a clue. BEGGED her.
The sweetly clueless husband to Bliss' controlling mother is played by Daniel Stern.
Breaking Away is a better film with its Oscar-nominated original screenplay, but Whip It has some nice things going for it. There's heart and warmth in Whip It and it's cool to see this kind of story being told from the female perspective. It has my favorite Kristin Wiig movie performance before she did Bridesmaids. I loved her as Maggie Mayhem.